Spanish art: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

El Greco, (1541-1614), The Disrobing of Christ (El Espolio) (1577–1579, oil on canvas, 285 × 173 cm, Sacristy of the Cathedral, Toledo) is one of the most famous altarpieces of El Greco. El Greco's altarpieces are renowned for their dynamic compositions and startling innovations.

Spanish art is the visual art of Spain, and that of Spanish artists worldwide. The Moorish heritage in Spain, especially in Andalucia is evident today in cities like Córdoba, Sevilla, and Granada. European influences include Italy and France, especially during the Baroque and Neoclassical periods.





Luis de Morales was called by his contemporaries "The Divine Morales", because of his skill and the shocking realism of his paintings.


El Greco is known for tortuously elongated figures and often fantastic or phantasmagorical pigmentation, marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting.


Francisco Zurbarán is known for the forcible, realistic use of chiaroscuro in his religious paintings and still-lifes.

Diego Velázquez (1599-1660), was a Spanish painter, the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary baroque period, important as a portrait artist. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, he created scores of portraits of the Spanish royal family, other notable European figures, and commoners. In many portraits, Velázquez gave a dignified quality to less fortunate members of society like beggars and dwarfs. In contrast to these portraits, the gods and goddesses of Velázquez tend to be portrayed as common people, without divine characteristics. Besides the forty and 22 portraits of Philip by Velázquez, he painted portraits of other members of the royal family, including princes, infantas (princesses), and queens.


Francisco Goya was a portraitist and court painter to the Spanish Crown, a chronicler of history, and, in his unofficial work, a revolutionary and a visionary. Goya painted the Spanish royal family, including Charles IV of Spain and Ferdinand VII. His themes range from merry festivals for tapestry, draft cartoons, to scenes of war, fighting and corpses. In his early stage, he painted draft cartoons as templates for tapestries and focused on scenes from everyday life with vivid colors. During his lifetime, Goya also made several series of "grabados", etchings which depicted the decadance of society and the horrors of war. His most famous series of "grabados" are the Black Paintings, painted at the end of his life. This series features works that are obscure in both color and meaning, producing uneasiness and shock........

Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

Sorolla excelled in the dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the sunlight of his native land.

20th Century

Picasso's Blue Period (1901–1904),which consisted of somber, blue-tinted paintings was influenced by a trip through Spain. The Museu Picasso in Barcelona features many of Picasso's early works, created while he was living in Spain, as well as the extensive collection of Jaime Sabartés, Picasso's close friend from his Barcelona days who, for many years, was Picasso's personal secretary. There are many precise and detailed figure studies done in his youth under his father's tutelage, as well as rarely seen works from his old age that clearly demonstrate Picasso's firm grounding in classical techniques. Picasso presented the most durable homage to Velázquez in 1957 when he recreated Las Meninas in his characteristically cubist form. While Picasso was worried that if he copied Velázquez's painting, it would be seen only as a copy and not as any sort of unique representation, he proceeded to do so, and the enormous work—the largest he had produced since Guernica in 1937—earned a position of relevance in the Spanish canon of art.

Salvador Dalí was one of the most important painters of the 20th century. In 1922 Dalí moved in to the "Residencia de Estudiantes" (Students' Residence) in Madrid. Exhibitions of his works in Barcelona attracted much attention, and mixtures of praise and puzzled debate from critics. Upon Francisco Franco's coming to power in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Dalí came into conflict with his fellow Surrealists over political beliefs. As such Dalí was officially expelled from the predominantly Marxist Surrealist group. Dalí's response to his expulsion was "Surrealism is me." Andre Breton coined the anagram "Avida Dollars", by which he referred to Dalí after the period of his expulsion; the Surrealists henceforth would speak of Dalí in the past tense, as if he were dead. The surrealist movement and various members thereof (such as Ted Joans) would continue to issue extremely harsh polemics against Dalí until the time of his death and beyond. The fact that he chose to live in Spain while it was ruled by Franco drew criticism from progressives and many other artists. In 1959, Andre Breton asked Dalí to represent Spain in the Homage to Surrealism Exhibition, celebrating the Fortieth Anniversary of Surrealism, among the works of Joan Miró, Enrique Tábara, and Eugenio Granell. In 1960 Dalí began work on the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí in his home town of Figueres. In 1982 King Juan Carlos of Spain bestowed on Dalí the title Marquis of Púbol.


The Plateresque style extended from beginnings of the 16th century until the last third of the century and its stylistic influence pervaded the works of all great Spanish artists of the time. Alonso Berruguete (sculptor, painter and architect) is called the "Prince of Spanish sculpture" because of the grandeur, originality, and expressiveness achieved in his works. His main works were the upper stalls of the choir of the Cathedral of Toledo, the tomb of Cardinal Tavera in the same Cathedral, and the altarpiece of the Visitation in the church of Santa Úrsula in the same locality.

Another period of Spanish Renaissance sculpture, the Baroque, encompassed the last years of the 16th century and extended into the 17th century until reaching its final flowering the 18th, developing a truly Spanish school and style, of sculpture, more realistic, intimate and independently creative that that of the previous one which was tied to European trends, especially those of the Netherlands and Italy. There were two Schools of special flair and talent: the Seville School, to which Juan Martínez Montañés belonged (called the Sevillian Fidias), whose most celebrated works are the Crucifix in the Cathedral of Seville, another in Vergara, and a Saint John; and the Granada School, to which Alonso Cano belonged, to whom an Immaculate Conception and a Virgin of Rosary, are attributed.

The Vallladolid school of the 17th century was succeeded in the 18th century, although with less brilliance, by the Madrid School, and it was soon transformed into a purely academic style by the middle of the century. In turn, the Andalusian school was replaced by that of Murcia, epitomised in the person of Francisco Salzillo, during the first half of the century. This last sculptor is distinguished by the originality, fluidity, and dynamic treatment of his works, even in those representations of great tragedy. More than 1,800 works are attributed to him, the most famous products of his hand being the Holy Week floats (pasos) in Murcia, most notable amongst which are those of the Agony in the Garden and the Kiss of Judas.

Other artistic disciplines

  • Handicraft
  • Graphical arts
  • Cinematography
  • Dance
  • Photography
  • Comic strip
  • Music
  • Spanish Music and art

Art museums


  • Jonathan Brown: Painting in Spain, 1500-1700 (Pelican History of Art), Yale University Press, 1999
  • Janis Tomlinson: From El Greco to Goya: Painting in Spain 1561-1828, Abrams Art History, 1997

See also


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address